Jorge Lorenzo was happy with his second position behind team-mate Valentino Rossi during Friday practice for the Italian's home event at Mugello.
It will be a landmark moment if title leader Lorenzo can defeat reigning seven time MotoGP champion Rossi in a head-to-head battle on Sunday, and in doing so claim his third race win in a row.
Rossi's third place at Mugello in 2009, just behind Lorenzo and winner Casey Stoner, was heavily influenced by the changeable weather, but Friday's session was bright and sunny throughout - and the dominance of the two Fiat Yamahas were never seriously threatened.
"I'm happy about this session and I'm feeling quite good,” said Lorenzo. “It's always difficult to be fast straight away here, because you need many laps to understand the track with all its changes in direction, but after I had done some laps I improved a lot.
“Now we have to try to improve some things on the bike. The most important thing is to get on the front row tomorrow and to do that we need to make some small changes. The weather is hot but it's okay, I'm fit, well prepared and have a good pace already."
"We're feeling relaxed and confident after this first practice in Mugello and Jorge's lap time is good,” added team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. “We have some ideas to make things even better and we need to work on the ability to turn the bike, because this could be improved at the moment.
“The set-up is working well so far even if it's not perfect, but we're pleased with the second position. Of course Valentino is very strong here but we have no complaints so far with our performance."
Lorenzo holds a nine-point lead heading into Sunday's fourth round.